Monday, February 17, 2020

Review: Unto Us a Son Is Given

Unto Us a Son Is Given (Commissario Brunetti, #28)

Unto Us a Son Is Given
Donna Leon

Commissario Brunetti is back! In this latest installment of Donna Leon's mesmerizing detective series, Brunetti is asked by his father-in-law, Count Falier, to look into some rumors he's heard about a long time friend. Gonzalo Rodriguez de Tejada wants to adopt a young man as his son, which Italian law allows. But is this younger man only interested in the older man's money and art collection? Either way, Gonzalo has made up his mind. But when he suddenly dies and one of his close friends is found dead, Brunetti has a case to solve, one that makes him think a lot about the meaning of love, family, and friendship.

Donna Leon is a master at creating a sense of place; as a result, Venice shines through the pages of this novel. I can think of no other fictional detective with the heart and soul of Guido Brunetti, who is devoted to his family, his job and his city. With vivid and intriguing narrative, Leon brings the reader right into the minds of the characters, and each one is more interesting than the next. Coupled with unexpected twists and turns Unto Us a Son is Given doesn't disappoint.

This review was written by me for City Book Review.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Review: The Missing Years

The Missing Years

The Missing Years
Lexie Elliott

Alisa Calder has inherited a Manse in the Scottish countryside. The problem is, she only owns half of it. The other half belongs to her father, and he disappeared years ago. Frankly, she'd like to sell the Manse, she can't imagine living in it. But until her father is proclaimed dead, she can't do that. Alisa decides to leave London and stay temporarily in the house with her half-sister until she can sort out the administration around the house.

Upon her arrival, Alisa feels the house is watching her. There is something sinister about it even if she can't put her finger on it. It definitely has its secrets, and she wonders if it is haunted. To top it off the villagers aren't that happy with Alisa's return and a few of them are keen to let her know that. Nevertheless, being back in her childhood home leads her to wonder what actually happened to her father all those years ago.

This compelling mystery left me on the edge of my seat. There were so many things that seemed to go bump in the night, creating a wonderfully atmospheric tale. The characters didn't disappoint either. If you liked the author's debut work The French Girl, you will love The Missing Years.

This review was originally written by me for City Book Review.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Review: A Long Way Off

A Long Way Off

A Long Way Off
Pascal Garnier

Marc feels like he needs to get away. He doesn't feel connected to his wife and the people around him anymore. While visiting his daughter Anne in hospital, he decides to take a trip. He convinces Anne to come along with him and his cat Boudu to the French coastal town of Le Touquet. The journey turns into a more extended road trip that finds them headed towards the town of Agen in a camper van. What transpires is a trail of disaster that leaves them so far from home, there may be no way back.

The title of this book might be A Long Way Off, but as far as I'm concerned, this one was spot on. It was just what I've come to expect from Garnier's work, a bit of darkness shot through with humor at the oddest moments. Like his other works, this one gets under the skin. I think Garnier fans and fans of the noir genre, in general, will find this short book highly entertaining.

Thanks to Gallic Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.